Travel, Culture and Lasting Friendships

Have you ever daydreamed of being immersed in a different culture? Maybe learning a new language or tasting traditional food? The Anacortes Sister Cities Association is all about broadening cultural horizons and experiencing “everyday living” with its Sister Cities. Anacortes is one of sixteen cities in Washington State that are part of Sister Cities International. The association has 2,100 partnerships with 145 countries. Membership is a unique way to show interest in travel and culture, and ultimately, celebrate the differences between the miles.

Read more in “Friendship and Culture Bloom in Anacortes“.

“Aerie” Has Landed

“Aerie” by Merrillee Moore will be installed at the end of the January in Anacortes’s Commercial Avenue roundabout. The eighteen foot sculpture sculpture with its strong stainless steel lines that form an eagle’s nest will add a unique and welcoming architecture to its coastal landscape. Read more in my article “The Eagle Has Landed” in the Anacortes Scene.

Four Questions: PNW Blog Tour

Thank you Samantha Claire Updegrave for tagging me on the Four Questions: PNW Blog Tour!


  • What am I working on?

I always seem to have one big and a few minor writing projects going on at the same time. The big project is my Young Adult novel about an orphaned girl who was born without her selkie skin and the journey she takes to find her clan. I’m in my third revision of this draft and it is my thesis project for my MFA at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. The smaller project, which will eventually end up a big project. It is a collection of personal essays where nature is the muse for making sense of life’s struggles and hardships, like divorce, loneliness, aging and love. For these essays I use my encounters with creatures in the natural world as a sounding board to reflect on the complexity of human relationships.


  • How does my work differ from others of its genre?


My work thus far hasn’t been much of a genre bender. In my personal essays I like to experiment with different formats like collage and hermit crab. I find that for certain stories a different format often enhances the piece in a fresh way.


  • Why do I write what I do?


I think both my fiction and nonfiction writing comes from my need to explore how we all fit into this big world, the journey there and how we resolve within ourselves who and what we want to be and become.


  • How does my writing process work?


I’m freshest in the morning and try to balance out a few hours of writing time with my own writing and my MFA class work. If I’m up for it after work then I hit the keyboard again, but it’s usually slower going. I’ve started using Scrivner for my Young Adult novel and editing is now a much faster process. It bookmarks pages and I can add notes, so all the information is right there when I need it and my desk is less cluttered with notes.


I’m tagging two wonderful writers to continue the PNW Blog Tour. Check out their blogs next week (9/15) to see their answers.

Haley Isleib is a writer and filmmaker in Portland, Oregon. She received a Fellowship from the Literary Arts of Oregon and her short films have screened in festivals in the US and Europe. Her short script won the 2012 FiLMLaB Script-to-Screen competition and the resulting short film won Best Comedic Short at the 2013 Oregon Independent Film Festival. She studied filmmaking at the Northwest Film Center and is currently enrolled in the MFA program at the Northwest Institute of LiteraryArts, for which her thesis project is a young adult novel with absolutely no paranormality. She’s a member of SCBWI,Willamette Writers, and serves on the staff of the awesome Cascade Writers Workshop, which you should totally check out. Seriously.


Nicole Persun started her professional writing career at the age of sixteen with her young adult novel, A Kingdom’s Possession, which later became an Amazon Bestseller. Her second novel, Dead of Knight, was recently awarded Gold in Foreword Magazine’s 2013 Indiefab Book of the Year Award competition, and has also seen Amazon’s Bestseller rankings. Aside from novels, Nicole has had short stories, flash fiction, poetry, and essays published in a handful of literary journals. She often speaks at libraries, writer’s groups, and writer’s conferences across the country. Nicole has a degree in Creative Writing from Goddard College. For more information, visit Nicole’s website at or visit her publisher’s website at




Feel the Rumble in Anacortes at Oyster Run 2014

September in Anacortes is full of summer sun and warm evenings. It also marks the end of summer with the rumble of 30,000 motorcycles that head into town for the annual Oyster Run. Thinking about walking, cruising or riding in? Check out my article, “Feel the Rumble” in the Anacortes Scene.

Spring Has Arrived in Anacortes


Tulip buds are shooting up from the ground and the flowering trees are turning pink, which means spring has arrived in Anacortes. There is no better way to celebrate spring in all its fabulous forms than at “Arts in Bloom, An Evening of Color” by the Anacortes Arts Festival where artists, restaurateurs, theater performers, ballet dances and an opera singer usher in spring in their colorful own way. More in the Anacortes Scene.

Birding in Anacortes #travel #birding #sanjuanisland

Ship Harbor Path Birding in Anacortes

I had such a great time researching this article. I had a couple early morning field trips with the Skagit Valley Audobon Society and left with so much about the birds that call our area home or vacation. Here’s my latest article, “Let your Inner Birder Soar” in the Anacortes Scene.

2014 Waggoner Cruising Guide #alaska #sanjuanislands #boaters


It’s a new year, which also means the 2014 edition of the Waggoner Cruising Guide is out. We’ve been told this is our best edition to date. This year we are also offering the 2014 Waggoner Cruising Guide as a free PDF download. Last year we added Waggoner eNews which updates cruisers with the latest cruising information and interesting destinations. For the first time we are planning three Flotilla to Alaska trips this summer (there are a few spots left!).  

June of 2013 I was out on the water for 18 days traveling from Anacortes, Washington, up the Inside Passage, to Ketchikan, Alaska. Along the way I got to see many of the places in the book and stop at unique marinas and seaside towns. In short, there are now places on my “go back to” list. One the the memories that always pops up in my mind is cruising through calm waters with nothing but sky above and green mountains on either side.



Twin Peaks Revival? #davidlynch #northbend

Twin Peaks Revival?

All I can say is please let this come true! In high school I was a Twin Peaks junkie. I was so into it, I cut my Friday nights short just to come home and become enmeshed in its dark world and characters who aren’t always quite what they seem.

After hearing that David Lynch is thinking about reviving the series on TV a month ago (he’s said this several times),  I thought I’d watch it all over again and see if I felt the same. I do. I admit, it’s a little cornier than I remember, but the characters are fun and quirky and all the layers of secrets and darkness keep it bordering with just enough disturbing ideas that you want to know more. Not sure if Agent Cooper would make it now as a FBI agent, he seems molded form a different cloth, a different time.

After I’m done watching the series I plan to drive up to North Bend, Wa and have lunch at the RR Dinner, which is Twede’s Cafe, and get a slice of pie!